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Closeted rabbi
caught in TV sex sting convicted in Virginia

Closeted rabbi
caught in TV sex sting convicted in Virginia

A Maryland rabbi caught in a nationally televised sex sting was convicted Wednesday of traveling to Virginia for sex with whom he believed to be a 13-year-old boy he met over the Internet. A federal judge in Alexandria, Va., found David A. Kaye, 56, of Rockville, Md., guilty of coercing and enticing a minor and of traveling across state lines for illegal sexual contact. During a bench trial last month, prosecutors presented evidence of sexually graphic chats between Kaye and adults from an Internet watchdog group called Perverted Justice who were pretending to be minors. The group was working with the NBC newsmagazine Dateline, which paid the watchdog group to create a pedophile sting. Kaye was one of several men who showed up at a Herndon, Va., home and were confronted on camera by correspondent Chris Hansen. U.S. district judge James C. Cacheris wrote that prosecutors presented overwhelming evidence, including outtakes from the NBC show and a log of chats that Kaye initiated with the supposed 13-year-old. The judge noted that when confronted, Kaye told Hansen, "You know I'm in trouble. I know I'm in trouble." Kaye acknowledged during his trial that he traveled to the home in hopes of having sex, but he said he always believed the person on the other end of the conversation was a young adult role-playing as a 13-year-old. Kaye, who is divorced, acknowledged that he frequently had homosexual encounters with people he met in online chat rooms but said none were minors. He said he hid his homosexual activity over many decades from his wife of 30 years and from his former congregants in Potomac, Md. In the wake of the sting, he resigned from his job as vice president of Rockville-based Jewish youth organization called PANIM: the Institute for Jewish Leaders and Values. Kaye, who has been jailed since his arrest in May, faces up to 60 years in prison when he is sentenced Dec. 1. (AP)

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